It’s still pretty slow around here, so I went to Blackwater this morning. Wading birds are still in short supply, but the Ospreys are about to fledge, and my Red Headed friends are very active.
I checked out the Swallows and Terns at the bridge on Key Wallace Drive, and was lucky enough to run into a River Otter. Otters are cool, and I don’t see enough of them.
Sunrise at Blackwater NWR.
This great Blue Heron was the first bird I saw this morning.
These young Osprey will be flying soon.
The adult Red Headed Woodpecker is still feeding this youngster.
This Eastern Kingbird was flycatching on Key Wallace Drive.
A few Forster’s Terns have settled in along Wildlife Drive.
Bald Eagles are usually easy to find.
This River Otter was a real treat.
We’ve had too many days of rain lately, which has kept me confined to local spots. Today looked a little more promising, so I took a chance and went to Bombay Hook. There’s nothing worse than committing to a 3 hour drive and then running into bad weather.
I lucked out, weather-wise, but it took a couple of hours before the sun was out and the clouds dispersed. From 6:00-8:00 I found almost nothing, but the sun brought in a lot of birds quickly. Avocets and Ibis were the best, but a fair number of Egrets and Herons were around as well. Some passerines in the roadside bushes added to the fun.
Several Eastern Kingbirds were flycatching near the road.
This group of Least Sandpipers looked to number 75 or more.
Great Egrets were in every pool.
I only saw a few Greater Yellowlegs.
5 Glossy Ibis flew over the marsh without stopping.
It always seems odd to see so many Egrets in a tree.
8-10 Short-billed Dowitchers flew overhead.
There are always many Goldfinches at Bombay Hook.
A couple of Blue Grosbeaks were a nice treat.
40-50 American Avocets were foraging in the marsh.
I was hoping to go to the Eastern Shore this morning, but it was pouring rain when I awoke, so I went back to bed and waited for the rain to stop.
I decided to try Sandy point again, because these brief storms sometimes bring stray birds to the beach. I managed to get lucky, even though the light wasn’t much good with the cloudy skies that often show after a storm.
Two Caspian Terns waited calmly for breakfast.
Two Snowy Egrets stopped by briefly.
I saw this Samderling from a distance, and he walked right up to me.
This Ring Billed Gull has found a meal.
I was lucky to spot this Glossy Ibis who flew overhead very quickly.
It’s that time of year again. Nesting is over for most birds, so they’re not as active. Migration hasn’t begun yet which means there’s not a lot of movement. I expect things to pick up very soon, but it’s been very slow for about three weeks.
I haven’t gone far in the last few days. It’s been hot, birds are scarce, and inspiration is in short supply. We had a small storm last night, so I tried Sandy Point in hopes of finding some strays.
There were the usual Gulls, in good numbers, a couple of Terns and Egrets and a surprise juvenile Little Blue Heron. It was a worthwhile trip.
I found this Cardinal at Greenbury Point.
This Great Egret flew in as I was watching the gulls.
Two Forster’s Terns were loafing on the beach.
This Snowy Egret flew in at the same time as the Little Blue Heron.
These Herring Gulls seemed to be bathing.
Many Canada Geese were grazing in the grass.
I don’t often see Least Sandpipers by themsilves.
Many Laughing Gulls were present.
I had to study this Little Blue Heron for a few minutes to be sure of the ID.
It’s that time of year when birds are hard to find. Most have finished raising young, so they’re less active, and there’s no migratory movement going on. I exxpect thing to pick up in a few weeks.
I’ve been hitting the usual places, with shortened days due to the heat. There’s a few finds here and there, but nothing really exciting.
I went to Blackwater again this morning, and it was an improvement. Still no egrets or sandpipers, but a few images are good enough to publish.
Dawn at Sandy Point.
Osprey young have not quite finished fledging.
Red Headed Woodpeckers are still quite active.
Only a few Great Blue herons were hanging around.
This female Orchard Oriole landed right near me.
Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows have finished nesting and are gathering in groups.
Least Terns are fishing at Terrapin.
This Fox was foraging at Blackwater.
Graeme, Prayoon and I headed out very early to Bombay Hook in hopes of finding some birds we don’t get to see around here. The water was still low, but we found a few interesting specimens anyway.
There weren’t many people visiting, and there were far fewer wading birds than my last visit. We could see a decent sized flock in the distance, but much too far away to get decent images.
Some Terns were very active, and many Herons were fishing, but Egrets were not numerous. The insect population seems to be less, for some reason. We didn’t miss them.
Many Greater Yellowlegs were foraging in the distance.
There’s still many Swallows in the marsh.
This Forster’s Tern has found a large fish.
Several Killdeer were feeding at the edge of the marsh.
This flock of Black Necked Stilts flew quickly by us.
A lone Mallard was hanging with the Herons.
We saw a couple of Laughing Gulls.
Red Winged Blackbirds can be seen and heard everywhere you go.
A few Glossy Ibis flew by close enough to photograph.
It was much cooler the last couple of days, but too windy yesterday. I set out early for Blackwater, and it was OK, if not spectacular. Egrets, Herons and Sandpipers just aren’t out in numbers yet.
I did find a few parents with chicks, some Eagles and Herons, but the star today was the Red headed Woodpecker. They were very active. including mating and fetching food for their chicks. I was hoping for more variety, but it didn’t happen.
I don’t usually talk about such things, but I ran over a Raccoon this morning. There were three, right in the middle of the road. It was still quite dark, and there wasn’t anything I could do. I haven’t hit many animals in a car, and it wasn’t a good way to start the day.
I seemed to see a Red Headed Woodpecker every time I turned around.
There were many vocal Red Winged Blackbirds.
Bald Eagles are still easy to find on Wildlife Drive.
This Red Winged Blackbird is feeding her chick.
This Osprey has two healthy chicks.
Eastern Kingbirds were plentiful.
Three Rabbits were feeding in the grass right in front of me.
It’s getting very hot very early, so I planned a short day this morning. The Spoonbill is still hanging around at North Beach, so I decided to go early and see if I could get lucky.
I’ve actually been there twice before without seeing him, so it was a crapshoot.
Lucky me! Just as I got in place, he flew in from out of the marsh and landed on the pilings near the beach. He wasn’t as close as I wanted, but close enough. Interestingly, it was so humid that I had to clean the condensation from the lens after every shot. That lasted for 20 minutes.
I got tired of waiting for him to move closer, so I wandered around a bit looking for other birds, without much luck. I was considering leaving, and I was looking at closer birds (Many Mallards) when I checked the piling perch, and he was gone?
Looking about, I quickly saw he had landed on the beach about 30 feet from my position, and in good light. Patience and persistence paid off at last!
This Black Duck is a rarity at this time of year.
He flew in at dawn.
The Roseate Spoonbill seemed to be interested in this snake, even though it’s not a normal menu item.
Cornell: “The flamboyant Roseate Spoonbill looks like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book with its bright pink feathers, red eye staring out from a partly bald head, and giant spoon-shaped bill.”